Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Molecule linked to aggressive pancreatic cancer offers potential clinical advances

Date:
May 21, 2014
Source:
Mayo Clinic
Summary:
An enzyme that researchers say is tightly linked to how aggressive pancreatic cancer will be in a patient has been discovered through a new study. Researchers say the study provides key insights into the most aggressive form of the disease, which is one of the deadliest human cancers. It also offers a number of possible future clinical advances, such as a way to gauge outcome in individual patients, and insight into potential therapy to shut down activity of the enzyme, known as Rac1b.

Mayo Clinic researchers have discovered an enzyme they say is tightly linked to how aggressive pancreatic cancer will be in a patient.

Related Articles


They say the study, published in Molecular Cancer Research, provides key insights into the most aggressive form of the disease, which is one of the deadliest human cancers.

It also offers a number of possible future clinical advances, such as a way to gauge outcome in individual patients, and insight into potential therapy to shut down activity of the enzyme, known as Rac1b.

"The implication from our research is that Rac1b is activating unique pathways in pancreatic tumors that make this cancer aggressive. If we can therapeutically target that pathway, we may be able to have an impact on this very difficult-to-treat disease," says the study's senior investigator, Derek Radisky, Ph.D., a researcher with the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center in Jacksonville, Fla.

A potential drug target would have to be found within the cancer-causing pathways activated by Rac1b, since the enzyme is difficult to target because it is involved in many normal biological processes, Dr. Radisky says. He and his colleagues are now working to uncover how Rac1b ramps up pancreatic cancer progression.

The RAC1 superfamily of proteins -- which play important regulatory roles in cell growth and cell movement -- have been implicated in other cancers, such as melanoma and non-small cell lung cancer, but before this study, no one knew that one sub-form, Rac1b, played a role in pancreatic cancer.

The research team includes investigators from Mayo Clinic in Florida and Mayo Clinic SPORE in Pancreatic Cancer, one of three cancer centers in the U.S. to receive a Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) grant for pancreatic cancer from the National Cancer Institute. The Pancreatic Cancer SPORE is specifically committed to reducing the incidence and mortality of pancreatic cancer. The team began their research by investigating why pancreatic cancer cells produce matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), enzymes that break down the sticky adhesion molecules that keep cells glued together in a tissue, or in a tumor. MMPs allow cancer cells to migrate away from a tumor.

"Most MMPs are made by cells that surround and support a tumor, not by the tumor itself, as we see in pancreatic cancer," Dr. Radisky says.

Using a combination of human tissue biopsies, novel transgenic animal models and cell culture studies, the researchers established a link between expression of MMP3 and activation of Rac1b. Then, using Mayo Clinic's large panel of human pancreatic cancer biopsies, the scientists found that expression levels of Rac1b were significantly associated with the cancer's prognosis.

The researchers verified their findings by treating cultured pancreatic cancer cells with recombinant MMP3. They found this was sufficient to induce Rac1b and increased cancer invasiveness.

"Pancreatic cancer is not uniformly aggressive -- some patients have a relatively better outcome. This work allows us to hone in on those patients who don't do as well, and who would most benefit from more targeted therapies," Dr. Radisky says.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Mayo Clinic. The original article was written by Kevin Punsky. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. C. Mehner, E. Miller, D. Khauv, A. Nassar, A. L. Oberg, W. R. Bamlet, L. Zhang, J. Waldmann, E. S. Radisky, H. C. Crawford, D. C. Radisky. Tumor Cell-derived MMP-3 Orchestrates Rac1b and Tissue Alterations that Promote Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma. Molecular Cancer Research, 2014; DOI: 10.1158/1541-7786.MCR-13-0557-T

Cite This Page:

Mayo Clinic. "Molecule linked to aggressive pancreatic cancer offers potential clinical advances." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140521094358.htm>.
Mayo Clinic. (2014, May 21). Molecule linked to aggressive pancreatic cancer offers potential clinical advances. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140521094358.htm
Mayo Clinic. "Molecule linked to aggressive pancreatic cancer offers potential clinical advances." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140521094358.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins